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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)

TITLE: Lessons from a Pet
By Edmond Ng


I am my master's pet, bought at a price, to keep him company, and to serve him and his family.

My master is a prophet, appointed by God to bless, but sometimes he sways from his calling, and chooses riches over the rest.

The LORD has opened my eyes to see my master's folly, but my master in his foolishness refuses to see. If only I can talk, I'll do something to make him see, but who am I for my master to listen to me?

Then one day, as my master rides on me along a narrow path of vineyards, I saw an angel with a sword drawn in his hand standing in our way, so I turned aside to save my master from the slay, but my master strikes at me with his stick and forces me back the same way.

So without a choice, I trot the narrow path, pressing myself to a wall with my master's leg pressed against the wall, but my master, unable to see the angel, became angry and strikes at me again and again, and in my pain, the LORD opened my mouth and granted me speech.

"Master, what have I done to you that you have struck me these three times?" said I.

"Because you have made a mockery of me!" my master spoke angrily. "If there has been a sword in my hand, I will have killed you!"

"But master, am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to go against you?"

"No," my master said.

Then the LORD opened my master's eyes, and he was able to see the angel standing in the way with his sword drawn and ready to strike, so in fear my master bowed all the way to the ground, and earnestly beseeched the angel.

"I have sinned," my master said, "for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will now turn away."

So, Balaam, my master, “who loved the wages of unrighteousness ... received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet” (2 Peter 2:15b-16 NAS).

As humans, we often fail to see what animals see, because in our hustle and bustle, we tend to lose our focus and dull our sensitivity.

Animals, unlike humans, seldom become defocus, simply because they do not sway or seek after riches, always staying clear to their primary purpose, which sometimes may just be to serve their masters.

Therefore, instead of being too quick to judge our pets for their occasional lapses in obedience, maybe we should find out the reason for these lapses. Who knows, there may be some lessons we can learn, without the need for our pets to speak to us!

NOTE: The story and dialogue in this article is adapted from the Book of Numbers, chapter 22, New American Standard Bible.

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Laury Hubrich 05/24/08
This was very good. One thing, though, you switched the point of view from the donkey to your thoughts. Maybe a couple of *** in between paragraphs would help that. Good job.
Dee Yoder 05/24/08
Good re-telling of this familiar Bible passage. I've always thought that if my donkey started talking to me, I'd be so astounded, I don't think I could talk back, let alone answer questions! An amazing illustration of the power of our God!
Marlene Austin05/26/08
Creative slant on this topic. I agree wholeheartedly with your primary premise that many times animals know and see things - much clearer than we humans do. :) Nice job retelling this story. :)
Debbie Wistrom05/26/08
I really like this Bible story turned into a devotional. Much talent here, keep writing.

I smiled when I realized what you were going with this.
Jan Ackerson 05/27/08
Oooh, good one! Great lesson at the end.

Some POV and tense switches here and there, and I'd like this to be even more expanded.

One of my favorite OT stories--glad you thought to use this one this week.
Joshua Janoski05/27/08
This was some very good writing. I enjoy unique takes on Bible stories such as this one.

I agree that you need to somehow indicate your POV shift to the reader, but that is something minor that can be easily fixed.

Thank you for sharing this. It was good. :)
Allan Morelos05/29/08
This is one insightful devotional. Thanks.